(79K .wav file) "A HEE- HEE- HEE..."
Jimmie Tramel: Who wants another dose of Plenty Scary Movie?
(Tulsa World, 10/27/2014)
How can you do TV in Tulsa without featuring the Plenty Scary Movie? You know "Friday nights at eleven thirty," I still remember the commercial. Tons of great films, and when Channel 8 was running Star Trek after the news it was awesome. I waited all week for it.
Was just thinking about 8's Plenty Scary Movie commercials. Remember the one with the guy at the bottom of the ships hold from "Dracula" going "A HEE- HEE- HEE..." (Dwight Frye, I believe) That always really freaked me out!! And is anyone aware 8 tried to bring back P.S.M. a couple of years ago? That's what TV Guide told me anyway...
...But does anybody remember "The Plenty Scary Movie"? If I remember correctly it came on every Saturday night @ 10:30, immediately following the 10 PM news broadcast. Thanks Channel 8, for all the memories. 8's still The Place!
Actually, the Plenty Scary Movie was on at 11:30. We used to run an hour show at 10:30 Mon-Fri. It changed over the years. Ironside, Star Trek, Gunsmoke, etc.
Plenty Scary Movie facts:
The name came from a 'brain-storming' session during a weekly department head meeting in Tom Goodgame's (GM) office. We all had suggestions, but it was Keith Bretz (sales manager) who came up with the name. It was a shorter than usual meeting because we all agreed that the name was as simple and corny as you could get.
I created an on-air promo from film clips that I thought would edit well with a piece of edited "library music" we had. The only sound from any clip was from the little guy -- out of his gourd -- laughing as he looked up the ship's stairs. That was the next to the last shot.
The "sig" shot, with the meat cleaver and dungeon like surroundings (near the top of this page), was designed and produced by Kent Doll.
The tag line, "Channel 8's Plenty Scary Movie, Friday Nights at 11:30," was read perfectly by Richard Wilson.
Jesus, we had fun in those days. I'm glad so many people remember our efforts.
One day when I was working in a local comic book shop, the man I worked for was playing an old Pink Floyd album that I'd never heard before called "Ummagumma". I was working away and minding my own business, when suddenly I felt a chill crawl up my spine. Something was frightening me. It was then that I became aware of a track off that album weirdly entitled "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict" (read about it and hear an excerpt at the link above...webmaster).
At the same time that I was hearing this track, visions of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, etc., were entering my brain. I knew this music. And I knew that it was somehow associated with Plenty Scary Movie. Perhaps it was a second promo for the show that I'm remembering. I just need someone from the good 'ol days of Channel 8 to confirm this for me. It's a very bizarre sound pastiche of animal noises and other weirdness.
I was such a devoted viewer of the Plenty Scary Movie, even though I was just a kid and usually fell asleep about halfway through. I remember the opening mentioned on your page, but I also recall one with a heartbeat sound and a close-up of an eye slowly opening. This was quite a while later, again, probably late 70s-early 80s. And I do remember them trying to resurrect it in the early 90s, but it was on at weird times, like one or two AM during the week and didn't seem to have a steady timeslot.
The "Plenty Scary Movie," eh? Our local sales manager at the time, Mr. Keith Bretz named that little jewel when we first started running it. Keith was a good man, a fine example of the quality of people Channel 8 has been blessed with over these many years.
I believe the font you are seeking is one called "Mistral" . It was a Letraset product, dry transfer type that came on a plastic sheet and you rubbed the type onto the surface you were working on. It was a good type for many applications. It could be blown up and hand lettered and regardless how messy the brush strokes were, it still looked great.
That sign (photo courtesy of Emily Elliott) has been in the art department almost as long as I have...it will be 30 years this May! It hasn't aged a bit.
Talking about fonts...when Carl and I put the 8's The Place campaign together, I selected Hobo as the type face because, as the Mistral, it too could be blown up and hand lettered and still look great. We knew when we started it all that it would have to work on many applications.
Oh well! That's show business!
Yep, the meat cleaver, the parchment...I put the lettering there. It seems I was always putting lettering or 8's the Place on something back then. Cigars, cows, frisbees, swimsuits, on arms and bellies as tattoos, cups, hats, sheets of "parchment", newspapers, belt buckles, flags, on the inside of a coconut...even a big ol' American Airlines commercial jetliner became fair game!
Even to this day I look for Carl Bartholomew to come into my office rubbing his hands together as he says, "Monte...I got this idea for another 8's The Place. Do you think you could put the lettering on a...."
One of our most effective special effects was used in the Plenty Scary promo. Back then we had a "smoke" machine here at the station and we used it often. We also used many pounds of dry ice. Both of those products were cheap and when we used them, they added a great deal to each of our "miniature movie" promotions. And they were that. "Miniature movies." Actors and scripts, set design, blocking, lighting, costume and make-up, props and special effects, music...they were every bit a movie production. "Lights...Camera...Action! And I guess they were effective! Even the "Friday Nights at 11:30" was remembered!
The Plenty Scary Movie open/close was pretty darn simple. Per the norm, Carl B supplied the music/concept, Monte Toon the artwork. I started with a white screen, and slowly brought the orange "Plenty Scary" artwork in on the right. At the appropriate music cue, Ron Swasta in engineering hit the focus rocker on the camera, which made the logo vibrate. Pretty cool at the time. *Everybody* was easier to amuse in those days, I guess. The music ended with a large Gong, at which point Ricardo on camera in the studio rolled focus on the "squared 8" logo left screen while I faded that in. Done. Piece o' duck.
Carl B approved it, then went downstairs to the GM's (Tom Goodgame) office to show it off. Bob Doubleday (Leake Ind. President) was there as well. Whoa. Tough crowd.
Ron S fed it downstairs via the in house closed circuit. As Carl related to me later- "So there they were, looking at it, and before it was over, one of them made a really nasty remark about how there's no f***in' Station Identification", and that Carl needed to redo it right.
Just then. The Gong. And. The Station Identification, aka the logo.
If I had two wishes, my first would be to own a Bell's Phantasmagoria bumper sticker. Anyone know where I can find one? Did they ever produce posters?
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